America, you’re being baited.
A government’s function, at least in the proper context of a western liberal democracy, is to protect and advocate for its citizens. It is tasked with providing for a national defense, as well as providing an infrastructure for citizens to settle disputes with one another. This includes courts and law enforcement.
This is the basic agreement between a sovereign individual and a state. A pledge of loyalty in exchange for protection. It’s pretty simple when you think about it, but it’s a model that has sustained the most successful civilization in human history for hundreds of years. And while the United States of America is the best example of this exchange being realized, western Europe as a whole has demonstrated this fairly well until the threat of the Cold War was lifted.
Now, without an enemy to unite against ideologically, politicians are now seeking a new model for this exchange. No longer is a pledge of loyalty to one’s community of citizens even necessary. A citizen need only pledge his or her resources. There’s no protection on the other side, and in exchange you just get some of that money back in the form of dumb social welfare programs.
This is the Democratic Party’s agenda in a nutshell, and that’s why the debates are so irritating.